View Full Version : TAKEN!

08-09-2013, 09:57 AM
a means of sustenance or livelihood

Many police budgets depend on money from forfeiture.
“child endangerment,” [] CPS
Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha
...and get back on the road.
“We all know the way things are right now—budgets are tight,”

homes in Philadelphia are routinely seized for unproved minor drug crimes
about a hundred properties are successfully seized and sold each year
“It’s very hard to document,” she said,
noting that many people targeted by the practice are too intimidated to talk.
“These cases tend to stay in the dark.”

“Do you,
for some reason,
think people driving up and down 59
owe you an explanation
for why they might have money?”

“Sure they do.”
[officer friendly]

plenty more:

What stands out to me
is the nature of how
pervasive and dependent
police really are on civil-asset forfeiture:

...it’s their bread and butter.

see also:

Camp Zoe Raided 350 Acres Siezed Tebeau Guilty Plea (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?382427-Camp-Zoe-Raided-350-Acres-Siezed-Tebeau-Guilty-Plea&highlight=tebeau)
Federal court rules feds can't seize property just because illegal activity occurred on it (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?402454-Federal-court-rules-feds-can-t-seize-property-just-because-illegal-activity-occurred-on-it&highlight=tebeau)
Drug Dealing and Legal Stealing (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?396384-Drug-Dealing-and-Legal-Stealing&highlight=tebeau)
[LOL] Obama Will Seek To Scale Back Drug War In Second Term: Report (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?382349-LOL-Obama-Will-Seek-To-Scale-Back-Drug-War-In-Second-Term-Report&highlight=tebeau)
Feds Steal "Camp Zoe" in Missouri, Prepare to Imprison its Owner (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?380686-Feds-Steal-quot-Camp-Zoe-quot-in-Missouri-Prepare-to-Imprison-its-Owner&highlight=tebeau)

civil forfieture reform

08-09-2013, 10:09 AM
That stuff is so scary.

08-09-2013, 10:46 AM
This is EXACTLY what the 2nd amendment is for.

If you allow willingly allow an entity to violate your god given rights under the color of law then you CONSENT to it. What this article describes is UNLAWFUL and you have a duty and or right to protect yourself from UNLAWFUL violations. Sure, there are consequences and you may want to consent and or submit when one is out numbered but I'm saying, soon a choice is going to have to be made.

08-09-2013, 10:59 AM


08-09-2013, 11:00 AM
Yet only a small portion of state and local forfeiture cases target powerful entities. “There’s this myth that they’re cracking down on drug cartels and kingpins,” Lee McGrath, of the Institute for Justice, who recently co-wrote a paper on Georgia’s aggressive use of forfeiture, says. “In reality, it’s small amounts, where people aren’t entitled to a public defender, and can’t afford a lawyer, and the only rational response is to walk away from your property, because of the infeasibility of getting your money back.” In 2011, he reports, fifty-eight local, county, and statewide police forces in Georgia brought in $2.76 million in forfeitures; more than half the items taken were worth less than six hundred and fifty dollars. With minimal oversight, police can then spend nearly all those proceeds, often without reporting where the money has gone.

Scary indeed.

08-09-2013, 11:04 AM


Fantastic video! Everyone should watch this and ALL of Badnariks talks.

Everyone should also watch this!! His finest video and he will make you truly understand your "rights"


08-09-2013, 11:06 AM
IT's theft any way you slice it. These stories make me sick to my stomach--this tyrannical system feeds on the sick, elderly and ignorant.

08-09-2013, 11:08 AM
That stuff is so scary.

"You're reaction is pleasant to our ears, comrade."

08-09-2013, 11:12 AM
Only one state requires a conviction before forfeiture proceedings can begin -NC.

Proud of this, but incredibly sad as well.

08-09-2013, 11:15 AM
This is EXACTLY what the 2nd amendment is for.

If you allow willingly allow an entity to violate your god given rights under the color of law then you CONSENT to it. What this article describes is UNLAWFUL and you have a duty and or right to protect yourself from UNLAWFUL violations. Sure, there are consequences and you may want to consent and or submit when one is out numbered but I'm saying, soon a choice is going to have to be made.
I would gladly die defending my home from this shit. But I'd be labeled some unhinged nutjob and joe schmoe would go back to checking his FB feed.

08-09-2013, 11:21 AM
According to the Institute For Justice, they gave New Hampshire a D+. I was actually shocked to see this. This needs to change!


08-09-2013, 01:14 PM
I would gladly die defending my home from this shit. But I'd be labeled some unhinged nutjob and joe schmoe would go back to checking his FB feed.

Or a swat team will come and there is really nothing you can do as an individual when 14 armed to the teeth armoured ex military buffs come knocking down your door at 3:15 AM.

Edit.. Read the quoted text wrong so this response doesn't make sense, but still stands.

08-09-2013, 01:22 PM

08-09-2013, 09:04 PM
“We all know the way things are right now—budgets are tight,” Steve Westbrook, the executive director of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, says. “It’s definitely a valuable asset to law enforcement, for purchasing equipment and getting things you normally wouldn’t be able to get to fight crime.” Many officers contend that their departments would collapse if the practice were too heavily regulated, and that a valuable public-safety measure would be lost.

Don't make theft hard.

When Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson complained to the county in the hope of retrieving their savings, they got another surprise. Lynda Russell, the district attorney, told them she had warned “repeatedly” that they did not have to sign the waiver, but, if they continued to contest it, they could be indicted on felony charges. “I will contact you and give you an opportunity to turn yourself in without having an officer come to your door,” she wrote in a letter mentioning the prospect of a grand jury. Once again, their custody of the kids was threatened. Boatright and Henderson decided to fight anyway.

I am the LAW!

There were high-profile success stories. The federal government seized a four-hundred-acre Montana ranch tied to the Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, and laid claim to the bank accounts of assorted Wall Street con men. But tales of abuse also emerged. In 1992, a California drug task force shot and killed a reclusive millionaire named Donald Scott during a raid of his Malibu ranch; by some accounts, police were searching for marijuana plants (none were found) as a pretext to seize Scott’s two-hundred-acre property. “Unfortunately, I think I can say that our civil-asset-forfeiture laws are being used in terribly unjust ways,” Henry Hyde, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, declared in 1997, “and are depriving innocent citizens of their property with nothing that can be called due process.” Three years later, Congress passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), requiring that federal prosecutors prove “a substantial connection between the property and the offense,” and allowing people who can prove themselves “innocent owners” to keep their property.

I assume they were charged with murder.

But civil-forfeiture statutes continued to proliferate, and at the state and local level controls have often been lax. Many states, facing fiscal crises, have expanded the reach of their forfeiture statutes, and made it easier for law enforcement to use the revenue however they see fit. In some Texas counties, nearly forty per cent of police budgets comes from forfeiture. (Only one state, North Carolina, bans the practice, requiring a criminal conviction before a person’s property can be seized.) Often, it’s hard for people to fight back. They are too poor; their immigration status is in question; they just can’t sustain the logistical burden of taking on unyielding bureaucracies.

Crime does pay.

“The eye-opening event was pulling those files,” Guillory told me. One of the first cases that caught his attention was titled State of Texas vs. One Gold Crucifix. The police had confiscated a simple gold cross that a woman wore around her neck after pulling her over for a minor traffic violation. No contraband was reported, no criminal charges were filed, and no traffic ticket was issued. That’s how it went in dozens more cases involving cash, cars, and jewelry. A number of files contained slips of paper of a sort he’d never seen before. These were roadside property waivers, improvised by the district attorney, which threatened criminal charges unless drivers agreed to hand over valuables.

Come on, I need an apologist.

But that was a daunting prospect. “Class actions involving race discrimination are extremely hard to win,” Guillory said. “Most of them go down in flames.” What’s more, the Tenaha case wasn’t against a private concern. It involved, in Guillory’s analysis, “a government entity that enjoys the benefit of most doubts, and a D.A. who enjoyed the most gold-plated kind of immunity there is: absolute prosecutorial immunity.” That was why, he thinks, authorities in Tenaha had managed to keep their dirty work largely obscured from public view—“shitting in high cotton,” he calls it.

What? 'Merica!

It wasn’t immediately obvious why a man so accomplished—a two-decade veteran of the Department of Public Safety—was interested in taking a sleepy job in a sleepy town. His explanation was simple. He’d been lying in bed one night in Carthage, soon after leaving his old job, when he looked up to see a light burst through his bedroom ceiling. “And it’s like I’m in a trance,” he later recalled. “And God tells me, ‘Go to Tenaha, Texas.’ And I get up the next day, and I laugh about it, until I find out that God may be serious, so I end up in Tenaha.”

So "God" made you be a piece of shit.

The lawyers figured that such misconduct had already been recorded. In Tenaha, the police station and cars were outfitted with video-surveillance equipment. And Boatright, for one, said that on the night of her detention Washington told her that the whole thing was being captured on film. Garrigan had requested footage of traffic stops made by Washington and his partner, along with related video from the station, but got nowhere. Then, after the Tenaha lawsuit caught the attention of the national media, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice launched its own criminal investigation into the alleged abuses. Several months later, in October, 2009, large stacks of optical disks were finally turned over. Garrigan and Guillory now had hundreds of hours of digital footage to sort through. Garrigan hired a colleague’s adult son to sit at a large oval wood-veneer table with a laptop and a supply of Starbucks, sorting through it all. (He’s still at it.)

Curiously, most of Barry Washington’s traffic stops were absent from the record. In those instances where Washington had turned on his dashboard camera, the video was often of such poor quality as to be “useless,” Garrigan says. There was hardly any footage of his clients, including Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson.

In James Morrow’s case, a sliver of video was identified from Constable Randy Whatley’s camera feed, which captured part of the man’s detention by the side of the road. Washington could be heard instructing Whatley, “Would you take your K-9? If he alerts on the vehicle, I’m gonna take his mama’s vehicle away from him, and I’m gonna take his money.”

“Oh, yeah,” Whatley replied. “O.K.”

“I’m gonna take his stuff from him,” Washington repeated.

The rest of the video was mostly muted, and a judge later deemed it “somewhat obscured by the placement of Washington’s car between the camera and Morrow’s car.”

Yeah, one apologist.

Some useful footage turned up that involved one of their original plaintiffs, a soft-spoken man named Dale Agostini, who was born in Guyana and was the co-owner of an award-winning Caribbean restaurant in Washington, D.C., called Sweet Mango. In September, 2007, he and his fiancée had had their infant son taken from them hours after Barry Washington pulled them over for “traveling in left lane marked for passing only,” according to the police report. No evidence of drugs or other contraband was found, and neither parent had a criminal record. Even so, Washington seized a large sum of cash that Agostini, who has family in the area, said he’d brought with him to buy restaurant equipment at a local auction. Lynda Russell, the district attorney, then arrived at the scene, sending Agostini and his fiancée, a nursing student at the University of Maryland, to jail for the night.

In police surveillance footage, Agostini can be heard pleading with Russell, “Can I kiss my son goodbye?”

Afterward, Russell dryly recounted to a colleague, “I said no, kiss me.”

Kidnapper, thief, Cop, asshole etc.

During my time in East Texas, a police officer told me that if I ventured beyond Shelby County I’d learn that Tenaha was far from an outlier in the region. When I looked through courthouse records and talked with local interdiction officers in nearby counties, I saw what he meant. In Hunt County, Texas, I found officers scoring personal bonuses of up to twenty-six thousand dollars a year, straight from the forfeiture fund. In Titus County, forfeiture pays the assistant district attorney’s entire salary. Farther south, in Johnson County, I came upon a sheriff’s office that had confiscated an out-of-state driver’s cash, in the absence of contraband, in exchange for a handwritten receipt that gave the traveller no information about who had just taken his money, why, or how he might get it back.


Another case involves a monthly social event that had been hosted by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. In the midst of festivities one evening in late May, 2008, forty-odd officers in black commando gear stormed the gallery and its rear patio, ordering the guests to the ground. Some in attendance thought that they were the victims of an armed robbery. One young woman who had fallen only to her knees told me that a masked figure screamed at her, “Bitch, you think you’re too pretty to get in the mud?” A boot from behind kicked her to the ground. The officers, including members of the Detroit Police Department’s vice squad and mobile tactical unit, placed the guests under arrest. According to police records, the gallery lacked proper city permits for after-hours dancing and drinking, and an old ordinance aimed at “blind pigs” (speakeasies) and other places of “illegal occupation” made it a crime to patronize such a place, knowingly or not.

After lining the guests on their knees before a “prisoner processing table” and searching them, the officers asked for everyone’s car keys. Then the raid team seized every vehicle it could find, even venturing to the driveway of a young man’s friend nearly a mile away to retrieve his car. Forty-four cars were taken to government-contracted lots.

They make stealing look easy.

After the A.C.L.U. filed a suit against the city, a district court ruled that the raid was unconstitutional, and noted that it reflected “a widespread practice” by the police in the area. (The city is appealing the ruling.)

Detroit Police Department officials have said that raids like the one on the Contemporary Art Institute are aimed at improving “quality of life.” The raids certainly help address the department’s substantial budgetary shortfalls.

Yeah, he just said that.

But, as the morning wound on, the deposition turned a corner. “God didn’t make me a piece of junk,” Washington said. “He made me to go out there and do my job.” He explained his interdiction strategy, which relied on pulling over out-of-state cars for minor traffic violations, then looking for indicators of drug trafficking.

“And what are these indicators?” Garrigan asked.

“Well, there could be several things,” Washington explained. “The No. 1 thing is you may have two guys stopped, and these two guys are from New York. They’re two Puerto Ricans. They’re driving a car that has a Baptist Church symbol on the back, says ‘First Baptist Church of New York.’ They’re travelling during the week, when most people are working and children are in school. They’ve borrowed this car from their aunt, and their aunt is back in New York.” Profile factors like these, Washington explained, could help justify the conclusion that the two men’s money was likely tainted by crime. But also, he said, “we go on smells, odors, fresh paint.” In many cases, he said he smelled pot. In other cases, things smelled too fresh and clean, perhaps because of the suspicious deployment of air fresheners.

Later, the discussion turned to specific traffic stops. Garrigan asked about Dale Agostini, the Guyanese restaurateur who wanted to kiss his infant son goodbye before being taken to jail for money laundering. Why did Washington think he was entitled to seize the Agostini family’s cash?

“It’s no more theirs than a man on the moon,” Washington said. “It belongs to an organization of people that are narcotics traffickers.”

“Do you have any evidence, any rational basis to tell us that this money belonged to an organization of narcotics traffickers?” Garrigan asked. “Or is that more speculation?”

“I don’t have any evidence today,” Washington said.

Garrigan asked about an iPod that was also taken from Agostini’s car. “What was your basis for taking that away from them?”

“Well, it’s in the car, and all those things can be looked at,” Washington explained. “Because if they’re using any of those items in the process of travelling to do something that’s illegal, then you can take all of those things. Even if it’s a pillow that they lay their head on.”

“Is there any limit?”

“No. President Reagan says there’s no limit. It’s time to get serious about this thing. And I think that’s how some of our laws are the way they are, is because it’s time to fight the war on drugs and say, ‘Let’s fight them,’ instead of just saying we’re going to do it.”

“Did you find any drugs?” Garrigan asked.


“Is there any evidence that they were buying drugs, instead of looking at restaurants in Houston?”

“No, not yet.”

“Do you, for some reason, think people driving up and down 59 owe you an explanation for why they might have money?”

“Sure they do.”


Today, Barry Washington works as a safety supervisor for Shell Oil. He is building a chapel on his own time, and plans to launch a ministry camp for kids there. He seems to have no regrets about any of his roadside seizures. A friend and drug-interdiction colleague named Cleve Williams told me, “With everything that I know about Barry as a person, what he stands for, I don’t believe for a minute that he’s done anything wrong.” Although Washington declined to be interviewed at any length for this story, he did say that he “provided a great service to this nation,” and stressed the importance of taking drug trafficking seriously. “There’s a good side and a bad side, and the good side will always win,” he told me. “Jesus knows who’s done what, and what was fair and what was unfair. And I would never do anything to embarrass Him. And that’s it. That’s the end of the story.”

Lynda Russell, meanwhile, has consistently refused to testify, pleading the Fifth, and declined to be interviewed. Her faith in the power of forfeiture, too, appears unshaken. After the county and the state decided not to provide her with legal representation, she asked to use the county’s forfeiture fund to finance her own defense.

"I die His Majesty's good servant, but God's first."

“For a long time, Jonathan had this mentality about cops: they’re not good, they’re all bad,” she said. “I don’t want him to have that perspective.” Sometime last year, she stopped showing up at events tied to the lawsuit—she didn’t want her kids to get the wrong idea about police, whom she considers heroes in every other context. Jonathan remains “terrified” when he sees police, so an officer friend comes over sometimes in uniform and drives Jonathan around in his squad car.

The End!

08-09-2013, 09:35 PM
From the thread title, I expected this to be about the sequel to Left Behind.

08-10-2013, 01:01 PM
"Cash-for-freedom" (read: extortion), is usually only found in third-world countries...

08-10-2013, 01:10 PM
Quit your complaining citizens! It's a free country, dontcha know? Don't make them liberate you. :(

08-10-2013, 03:19 PM
IT's theft any way you slice it. These stories make me sick to my stomach--this tyrannical system feeds on the sick, elderly and ignorant.

And the Unemployed. It is a system that punishes people for either Lack of Theft or Lack of Production. Dependancy on Fiat Money is the name of the game here.

08-10-2013, 05:22 PM
Thanks for front page, updated op.

08-10-2013, 05:48 PM
Be careful when signing leases (especially apartments) and make sure you read over all the fine print as well. They are usually all too willing to collaborate with the police to steal from you. I was arrested several years ago, and spent one night in jail. I got out, picked up my wife, and went back to our apartment just to find out that neither of us were allowed anywhere on the entire property. The police were actually still there loading everything we owned onto a truck and they took everything we owned. EVERYTHING. What gave them this right since I was simply charged and not convicted of a crime? Looking through the lease agreement, just being charged with certain crimes (it was a long list) gives them the right to evict you immediately. My wife hadn't been charged or arrested and yet she wasn't allowed to return either because we were married! Since we were not allowed back on the property, our belongings were considered abandoned after three days. Why were the police already there loading things up to take for themselves before that? That's a good question and one I've never been able to find out the answer to.

P.S. To top it off, about a year later we were billed several thousand dollars from the apartment management company for the cost of "disposing" of our belongings. Unbelievable.

08-10-2013, 06:42 PM
That is horrible, Paulbot. Bastards.

I like DiLorenzo's Crime Historians and Stick-Up Men (http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/crime-historians-and-stick-up-men-and-women/) better, but he should add "Hired Killers" (or some such) to that.

Police Are Thieves

Stop whatever you’re doing and read Sarah Stillman’s New Yorker piece on civil forfeiture. I read it last night, and found myself slack-jawed that this actually goes on in the United States of America. In many places, the police are using laws designed to help them advance the drug war to confiscate property from ordinary citizens who haven’t been charged with anything. Here’s what happened to a Houston couple driving to see the woman’s father, where they intended to buy a used car with cash. They made the mistake of driving through the little town of Teneha, which, it turns out, has a racket in stopping innocent people and stealing their stuff. [...]

Though it happens a lot in Tenaha — through which you never, ever should drive — but it by no means only happens in Tenaha. It happens all over our country.

The problem is these laws allow the police to assume that you’re guilty until proven innocent. And when you lack the legal resources to challenge these seizures, you are out of luck. These cases disproportionately fall on the poor and minorities. Stillman tells of an outrageous story from Philadelphia in which the authorities seized the house of an elderly, sick, inner-city black couple whose adult son, living with them, was arrested for selling pot from the front porch. There’s another story about a Hispanic Pentecostal churchman, an alien in this country legally, who was pulled over in Virginia. There was no contraband in the car, and the church secretary was not charged with any crime. But the officer seized $28,000 in cash the churchman was going to use on that journey to buy property for his congregation.
The corruption comes in large part, Stillman shows, by the law allowing local police forces to keep most or all of the assets they’ve seized. This provides an incentive for cops to grab as much as they can. Stillman reports that many cash-strapped police departments depend on this highway robbery to fund their operations.

Please, read the whole thing. If you think you are immune to this kind of abuse by the state, think again. Remember, these people did nothing wrong — and still, they got robbed by the police, in a way that’s legal.

Related: Forfeiture-Abusing Prosecutor Rejected For Judgeship

[...] From the *Patriot-Ledger:

Objecting to her work on drug forfeiture cases as a federal prosecutor, the Governor's Council on Wednesday rejected [Shelbey] Wright, Gov. Deval Patrick's pick for a seat on the … Boston Municipal Court.

… In two separate cases, Wright chose to pursue property forfeitures from innocent wives of drug suspects, despite knowing the women had no knowledge of the criminal activity.

In one case, the widow had lived in the house for 30 years, and there was no evidence that any drug money was used to purchase or pay for the house…. Her husband, who was the subject of the federal charges, had committed suicide.

[Councilor Robert Jubinville] said Wright acknowledged she had the discretion to drop the case after the husband’s death, but decided not to.

In another case, an innocent women’s son committed suicide while the government pursued taking the family home, he said.

“What’s troubling to me is the fact that in the two cases, and I asked her this, I said ‘What was the point of forfeiting the house after the husband committed suicide? You knew she had nothing to do with the crime. Doesn’t the government have enough houses? Don’t they have enough money?” Jubinville said.

It’s not exactly a retreat from absolute immunity. But hopefully prosecutors who aspire to a seat in the judiciary will take note. People don’t like it when you steal.

08-10-2013, 06:45 PM
From the thread title, I expected this to be about the sequel to Left Behind.

I thought it was about the Liam Neeson movie.

08-10-2013, 07:30 PM
NSA recording the thread readers. Expect a knock on your door somewhere around 3am by 20-30 theives with a badge.

08-10-2013, 07:58 PM
NSA recording the thread readers. Expect a knock on your door somewhere around 3am by 20-30 theives with a badge.

That will never happen to me, I got nothing to hide.